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movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Mumford

Starring: Loren Dean, Hope Davis
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Rated: R
RunTime: 96 Minutes
Release Date: September 1999
Genre: Comedy

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Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

What does it take to be a good psychologist? How can you get people to confide their fantasies, dreams, and frustrations in order to alleviate the pain of the human condition? Writer/director Lawrence Kasdan believes that listening, really listening is the most important skill - and that's the premise for his intelligent, amusing new comedy. Loren Dean ("Billy Bathgate") stars as Dr. Mumford, a young psychologist who opens a practice in a small, picturesque town, coincidentally named Mumford, and discovers his unorthodox form of therapy has amazing, unexpected results with an odd assortment of quirky locals. There's a young divorcee suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Hope Davis), a pulp-fiction obsessed pharmacist (Pruitt Taylor Vince), a frustrated housewife (Mary McDonnell) who's become addicted to mail-order shopping, her workaholic husband (Ted Danson), a fashion-preoccupied teen (Zooey Deschanel), Mumford's outspoken landlady (Alfre Woodard) who runs the local cafe, and a lonely billionaire (Jason Lee), the monarch of modems, who zips around on a skateboard. While they respond to his empathy and frankness, no one realizes that mysterious, unconventional Dr. Mumford has the biggest secret of all - except maybe a suspicious attorney (Martin Short) and the two other therapists in town (David Paymer, Jane Adams). Like "The Big Chill," "The Accidental Tourist," and "Grand Canyon," this is an excellent ensemble effort, which is a credit to Kasden's talent for casting. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Mumford" is a fantastical, intriguing 8, proving that love comes in many disguises.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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